The European Medicines Agency warned patients who suffer from major depression and who are taking antidepressants of the weight loss drug rimonabant, brand name Acomplia.

It was US safety officials who voted on the ban of the pill that was found to increase suicide risks and cause adverse psychiatric effects.

Acomplia is used by those patients who are obese and at risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It blocks receptors in the part of the brain that regulates food intake and the body's ability to break down sugars and fats in the blood. The drug is being evaluated for use on the NHS.

The drug’s manufacturer Sanofi-aventis reported that the product's labelling had been updated because evidence showed that one in 10 people who take Acomplia may develop psychiatric side effects. The commonest psychiatric side effects experienced were low mood and depression, anxiety, irritability, nervousness and sleep disorders as well as suicidal thoughts.

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency advised people who start experiencing symptoms of depression while taking Acomplia or are on anti-depressants to consult their doctors right away.